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The Master-Singers of Japan, by Clara A. Walsh, [1914], at


He lived at the close of the 17th century, and is described by Professor Chamberlain as "acknowledged master of the seventeen-syllable style," and his poems as "full of flashes of delicate fancy," "specks of humour, truth and wisdom." He belonged to an ancient Samurai family, retainers of the Daimio of Tsu-Isé. He became a Buddhist priest, a student of the Zen doctrines, and was an artist as well as poet. He took journeys into the secluded parts of Japan, and there inscribed many poems on stones, some of which still remain.


By Bashō

The Autumn gloaming deepens into night;
Black ’gainst the slowly-fading orange light,
On withered bough a lonely crow is sitting i

p. 107


By Bashō

Ah! this full moon! Would I could knock to-night
At sacred Müdera's ancient gate,
Bathed in the misty radiance of her light.


By Bashō

An old-time pond, from out whose shadowed depth
Is heard the plash where some lithe frog leaps in!


Cherry-blossoms of Yoshino,
These and these only!
Unsurpassed in loveliness
Yoshino's peerless blossoms!


A cloud of blossom
Far and near;
Then sweet and clear,

p. 108

What bell is that
That charms my ear?

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